THE CRYSTAL BALL

The Dolphins will be trying to make it six in a row against the Chiefs when the teams meet Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Here's how we think the game is going to unfold.

Based on the teams' records, this appears to be a game the Dolphins should have no trouble winning. But then there's the factor of this game coming between grudge matches against the Jets and New England.

The letdown factor has to be considered, and it might be the Dolphins' biggest obstacle in this game. Another is the health of the defense.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain is not going to play, and there's the possibility that Jason Taylor will join him on the sidelines.

That will put a lot of pressure on Zach Thomas and Co. as they try to slow down Priest Holmes. Make no mistake, he's the guy the Dolphins have to worry about.

He's averaging 129 yards rushing a game and burned the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots for 180 yards last week. The Dolphins were able to stuff Curtis Martin last week by bringing their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, and it would only make sense for them to do it again.

Holmes will get some yards, but he won't rush for 180 yards because the Dolphins are going to make Trent Green try to beat them.

Green will get some yardage throwing downfield, primarily at Jamar Fletcher, but he's also good for one or two interceptions.

That just might be the difference because the Dolphins offense figures to score. The Kansas City defense hasn't stopped anybody all year, and there's no reason to think that's going to change this week.

The Chiefs are going to focus on stopping Ricky Williams and blitz a lot, and that means this could be the week Chris Chambers, Oronde Gadsden and Dedric Ward play a bigger role in the offense.

Look for the Dolphins to throw deep a couple of times.

This is the type of game where the home crowd and the letdown factor could help the Chiefs get off to a quick start, but the Dolphins eventually will assert their superiority.

This doesn't have the look of an easy game, but the Dolphins have the better team and they have shown this season they look much better at taking care of business. We say it's going to continue.

The call: Dolphins 31, Chiefs 24.


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